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Time to Tune Up Your Hospital’s Financial Engine?

Tune-up-hospital-financial-engineIf you owned a Ferrari, wouldn’t you keep the engine tuned?

How about if you ran a hospital? Would you keep the Operating Room tuned? After all, almost two thirds of your annual revenue comes from medical procedures, like the OR, the cath lab, etc.

Yet many procedure areas, including the OR, aren’t working to capacity. It has nothing to do with the efficiency of the procedure itself. And it’s not just a problem of better scheduling. Schedules, after all, are static documents which project hoped-for goals into the future. It takes more than that to actually keep procedures on schedule. It has to do with patient throughput and that means more than getting the patient in and out of the room.

As anyone who has worked in the peri-operative environment knows, almost nothing goes according to plan. Having the ability to know in real time how the schedule is changing  gives you the ability to make decisions “in the moment,” before the opportunity to react is lost and capacity and resources go to waste.

This is where TeleTracking’s Orchestrate™ solution comes in.

Orchestrate is our procedural patient throughput solution that tracks all procedures, processes and events from the time a patient presents to bed placement and subsequent discharge, and accounts for all the variables which inevitably occur over the course of a day of care delivery. This includes the numerous caregivers, venues and checklists which are constantly changing.

The power of Orchestrate lies in its ability to display those scheduling variants and allow staff to respond “in the moment” to optimize throughput and resource utilization.

Orchestrate uses daily schedules as a basis for actually tracking procedures in real time. The duration of a procedure is affected not only by the time in the procedure room, but the time wasted between procedures. Orchestrate reduces lost time for these areas by keeping clinical staff up-to-date on how actual patient throughput is matching up with the schedule. Staff can then determine root causes of the problems and intervene or make alternate plans to avoid wasting more time.

Orchestrate applies proven workflow automation technology to the OR, procedural rooms and ancillary service areas to provide an enterprise view of the real-time status of patients and the real-time availability of resources, rooms and beds hospital-wide.

It replaces the constantly outdated  information of whiteboards and paper systems with an EMR/HIS integrated, enterprise-wide view of what is scheduled to happen on a given day and provides real time alerts as changes occur.  All surgical and other procedure-related milestones are tracked and displayed on flat screen monitors so everyone knows the patient’s progress and up-to-the-minute status of procedural care throughout the day.

This may include not only the in-patient hospital setting, but outpatient settings such as Same Day Surgery Centers, Ancillary services located within the hospital, medical offices or clinics, and free-standing specialty sites. For patients requiring an in-patient bed after surgery, staff can easily make bed requests directly from the Orchestrate™ application because they have visibility into the bed capacity of the entire enterprise.

Orchestrate provides a seamless flow of information that helps PACU and the floors prepare for patients who are in surgery and keeps the ORs working at maximum capacity. The improved communications among physicians, nurses and other medical staff allows them to make the timely decisions which produce the efficiencies needed to keep schedules on time and track critical milestones throughout the peri-operative process.

Fewer missed or delayed surgeries keep patients and surgeons satisfied and generate additional revenue, which keeps the administration happy as well.

Another constituency that is much happier is the patient’s family, which can follow his or her progress on a waiting room monitor without having to track down a nurse or clerk in the waiting area.  Orchestrate communicates procedural milestones on a HIPAA compliant screen to keep the family informed in real time.

And, Orchestrate™ works with TeleTracking RTLS technology for pinpoint patient location, status and movement, so staff instantly know if the right patient is in the right location at the right time, plus how long the patient is there and where to find other patients scheduled for time-sensitive treatment.

A number of top surgical facilities are already using this TeleTracking solution to effectively optimize their procedures. Is it time for your OR to get a tune up?

Dennis Morabito

Categories: Author: Dennis Morabito, EMR / Healthcare IT, Financial Health of Hospitals